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I think I made a mistake by going into the ICU as a new grad.

First Year   (2,033 Views | 6 Replies)

Skips is a MSN, RN and specializes in L&D.

12,550 Profile Views; 485 Posts

Holy cannoli! I thought I would be okay with starting out as a new grad in an ICU. It's not a level 1 trauma center or anything like that, but still. I wasn't a tech in school, and we have zero techs on our floor. Total cares and everything for our patients. It's fine, but I have to learn all the nursing stuff, too. I am having a difficult time imagining myself as a competent nurse in a few months. I'm a month in, and I don't like it. I don't even think I like hospital nursing.

My question is: are there any new grads out there that succeeded in day shift ICU nursing? I feel lucky for getting this position, but it's challenging. It might be too much for me. What would it take for someone to get fired for not being good enough? Because I'm afraid of that!

Advice, please. Or venting, too. Whatever works.

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Nurse_ has 7 years experience and specializes in Trauma | Surgical ICU.

251 Posts; 6,293 Profile Views

It's been only a month. ONE MONTH. You are still in training. You'll become more competent with experience. The fact that you are worried about being competent tells me you will become one. It's not about having the skills and confidence right off the bat but the willingness to learn.

Sure, it's hard right now. I bet you are overwhelmed. But let me tell you that even with years in nursing, there are days when I feel like I'm running with my head cut off. That's nursing.

So my advice is to write down what you like and what you don't like about being in the hospital, being an ICU nurse. Most of the time, it's the outside factor, factors that doesn't really involve nursing or patient care. If that's the case with you, then maybe it's time to go to another hospital. If not, then is it something you can change? If it is, then you can work for it.

ICU is hard. It's not for everyone, that I can agree with. But don't give up on it after one month.

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154 Posts; 4,606 Profile Views

I felt overwhelmed in my first month. I am now in my 3rd month and will be on my own in 2 weeks. The anxiety I felt is gone. I am ready. I look forward to every day. Give it time and you will too. There is a reason that orientation lasts as long as it does.

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RubberDuckieLove has 1 years experience and specializes in Neuro Intensive Care.

163 Posts; 3,103 Profile Views

You need time!! Like the previous poster said, it's been one month. Just one! You should still be under your preceptor. Set a goal for every shift for you to accomplish. I am also a new grad in the ICU and love it. But that wasn't the case when I first started and it takes practice, commitment, and time!!

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 45,767 Profile Views

I began my career in ICU - loved it so much that I never left! Of course, it was back in the 'dark ages', but the environmental characteristics have not really changed very much. Still total primary care. Still lots of technology & very high level of responsibility. There are many new grads who successfully begin their careers in ICU. The key factor is the level of support provided by your co-workers. Chances are, if they hired a new grad, they are ready and willing to provide you with the support you need to make the transition from school to practice.

My suggestion? Whenever you feel your anxiety building, take a moment to reflect ... exactly what is causing it. Is it the pace? Technology? Inadequate skills? Lack of knowledge? Fear of making the wrong decision? If you can figure it out, you can then take specific action to 'fix' it. However, if it is the overall level of responsibility associated with caring for critically ill patients.. you may be better off working in a different area because this is not going to change.

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139 Posts; 3,158 Profile Views

I'm a new grad in the ICU and I feel ya!

November will be my 5th month and I've been on my own for 2 months now. I have seen myself grow SO much, it's pretty awesome. But at the same time I still feel super incompetent.

I, too sometimes feel that maybe hospital nursing isn't for me. But I do realize it's only been a few months. I just know so many of my cohort buddies from school who are 4-5 months in and enjoying their jobs. And I'm not.

I wish you the best of luck! Hang in there!

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87 Posts; 3,851 Profile Views

I'm considering ICU.... I had clinical there recently and initially loved it and then a few weeks in realized I may prefer it later on but maybe not starting out. BUT... who knows, I'll take what I can get. I feel like Anywhwre you start as a new grad will be stressful ... So if you're in ICU, once you get the hang, you can do anything!!!! The nurses in the ICU I did clinical in told us that it took 1 or even 2 years to get the hang or feel more comfortable or to have tr "aha" moment for why they were doing the interventions/carrying out orders they were doing. It's a hard area and everyone agrees it takes a bit TO FEEL OK IN ICU. So don't freak after just a month :) you're not abnormal for not having it all together yet :) you'll no doubt feel tons more at ease at time goes on. Everyone can eventually feel comfortable at their job and lose the nervousness after working for a bit but as for loving that unit .... If you don't after a while, switch to something else! I'm sure even minimal experience in ICU will look good. It's ok if it turns out to not be the unit for you...plenty of people look back 5 yrs later who started out in a unit they did not stick with and are now thriving on a floor they adore that they got into 6 months or a year later! And who knows if maybe it is for you and 5 years later you're still there and loving it!

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